LGBTQ+ Business Climate Score

Out Leadership’s Business Climate Index for the 50 United States is an assessment of states’ performance on LGBTQ+ inclusion. It measures the impact government policies and prevalent attitudes have on the LGBTQ+ people residing in each state, quantifying the economic imperatives for inclusion and the costs of discrimination. It equips business leaders and policymakers with a clear sense of the most impactful steps states can take to make themselves more hospitable to forward-thinking, innovative, inclusive businesses.


out of a possible 100 points

Legal & Nondiscrimination Protection

The state makes it nearly seamless to update the gender markers on a state ID or birth certificate, neither of which require surgery. There are comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that cover sexual orientation and gender identity.

19 / 20
Youth & Family Support

Conversion therapy for minors is banned in Oregon. Youths in foster care are protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender. Discrimination against potential adoptive parents on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited.

18.33 / 20
Political & Religious Attitudes

Oregon’s Governor and U.S. Senators all boast long and consistent track records of speaking up and voting for LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion. There are currently no laws allowing for religious exemptions from civil rights law.

20 / 20
Health Access & Safety

State employees, as well as private insurance and Medicaid customers, all enjoy trans-inclusive healthcare coverage. Oregon has a comprehensive hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. HIV is not explicitly criminalized, but the state has prosecuted people living with the disease under general criminal laws.*

17 / 20
Work Environment & Employment

15% of transgender employees in Oregon reported being harassed in the past year due to their gender identity, and 17% reported mistreatment such as being forced to use a restroom not matching gender. 29% of LGBTQ+ individuals in Oregon reported food insecurity, nearly double the rate for non-LGBTQ+ people. 24% of LGBTQ+ individuals in Oregon reported making less than $24,000 per year. 7% of LGBTQ+ individuals report unemployment in Oregon, higher than the rate for non-LGBTQ+ peers (5%).

13 / 20
A Note on Methodology

Download this report to learn how and why Out Leadership created the LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index for the 50 U.S. States, with important details about our methodology, including our data standards and practices. NOTE: *HIV criminalization laws are discriminatory and ineffective. These laws fail to account for advances made in treating and controlling HIV, may deter people from getting tested and seeking treatment, and can exacerbate the stigma targeting people living with HIV and LGBTQ+ people.

Our Methodology
Talking Points
  • 5.6% of Oregonians identify as LGBTQ+. Conservatively, that’s LGBTQ+ personal income of $11.7 billion – it’s a market my business can’t afford to ignore.
  • When LGBTQ+ employees don’t feel welcome at work, they’re less likely to stay, and employee turnover is a drag on the state economy and business competitiveness. It costs companies an average of $10,202 to replace an employee in Oregon, and it can cost up to $452,177 to replace senior executives. Oregon and the businesses operating there have strong financial incentives to create inclusive workplaces in the interest of keeping these costs down.
  • Oregon’s comprehensive nondiscrimination law protects LGBTQ+ people, so the state is already experiencing the positive economic impacts of such policies. One estimate suggests that the state’s economy may have grown 3%, or $6.8 billion, thanks to its inclusive approach. That said, there’s still a gap between policy and culture, and organizations in Oregon have a business imperative to ensure that LGBTQ+ people feel welcome in their workplaces.
  • Millennial and Gen Z consumers prefer to do business with companies with LGBTQ+ friendly advertising and policies – 54% say they’re more likely to choose an LGBTQ+ inclusive brand over a competitor – which is why it’s important that Oregon continue to foster a business environment where being inclusive is supported.
Impact of LGBTQ+ Discrimination on Business and Talent
  • 1
    No Risk
  • 2
    Low Risk
  • 3
    Moderate Risk
  • 4
    Notable Risk
  • 5
    High Risk

For more context around these scores, and to learn more about the criteria we used to assess how state laws, actions and attitudes toward LGBTQ+ people create business and talent risks, please visit www.outleadership.com/staterisk.

  • 1
    No Risk
Companies incur no brand risk by doing business in Oregon, which has comprehensive laws protecting LGBTQ+ people and a correspondingly great reputation.
  • 1
    No Risk
There’s no reason to believe that LGBTQ+ or strong ally clients would pull business from companies operating in Oregon, which has especially comprehensive state nondiscrimination laws protecting the LGBTQ+ community.
  • 1
    No Risk
Oregon has strong legal protections for LGBTQ+ people, making working there attractive to LGBTQ+ professionals.
  • 1
    No Risk
There is no risk involved in marketing to the LGBTQ+ community in Oregon.
  • 1
    No Risk
Oregon stands out as one of the few states that has seen no anti-LGBTQ+ bills filed in recent years. The state has statewide nondiscrimination protections and we do not see any risk of a negative event in the foreseeable future.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBTQ+ People:

Status of LGBTQ+ Organizing and Community

There are more than 10 annual Pride festivals throughout the state.

The largest is Portland Pride, which has upwards of 60,000 attendees.

There are smaller, newer LGBTQ+ advocacy groups in rural parts of the state pushing for visibility and inclusion.

Cultural Views of the LGBTQ+ Community

62% of Oregonians oppose allowing small businesses a religious exemption to discriminate against LGBTQ+ customers.

70% of Oregonians favor antidiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.

Parents in the Dallas school district appealed a case alleging the policy of allowing students to use the facilities aligned with their gender identity violates Title IX. The case was thrown out of U.S. District Court last year, and the Supreme Court declined to hear it in December 2020.